Story Rules Over the Rules

On the heel’s of last week’s post on My Journey Into Anime, I’d like to brush upon this topic.

The reason I fell so in love with The Devil is a Part-Timer and Life is Still Beautiful was because the stories reached out to me beyond my at first dislike of the animation style, the getting used to reading subtitles, and the general rut of stubborn dislike I was in, and gripped me with stories that I related to, laughed at, and cried with.

In The One Year Adventure Novel community, the saying “What makes a story a story?” is rather legendary for us. It’s a question we continue to ask ourselves every time we sit down to write.  We are always striving to capture the perfect prose, the deepest emotions, the most well crafted characters.  And while the nuts and bolts of grammar and sentence structure and even the science of story are extremely important, I learned something a few years ago that put a lot of things into perspective for me.

Author, artist, editor, and speaker, Jeff Gerke, once gave a talk at an OYAN Summer Workshop in which he taught the principle of “Story trumps every rule”. And it is so true.  If you are able to hook your readers into the story, and for the sake of that story and that immersive experience you need to break a rule, then guess what? That is okay.

While it isn’t exactly the same principle in my anime life, I still see it. The story overcame my self-imposed obstacle course and won my heart, immersing me in their worlds and the lives of the characters.

That is what I am looking for when I pick up a book or watch a movie.

And that is what I hope to bring to the table with my writing.


What is most important to you when you pick up a book? What is it you are looking for? 


2 thoughts on “Story Rules Over the Rules

  1. skyedancer says:

    This is a really good reminder. Thank you. ❤

    You know… I've never actually thought about that. It's weird now that I'm saying it, but I haven't. Truth and beauty, maybe? Wonder?

    "It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass."


  2. Adrienne Joy Niceley says:

    You are most welcome 🙂

    I am right there with you on all three of those. When a book contains all three… that’s magic ❤


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